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Why Are Some People World-Class Performers?
Warren Buffett, Albert Einstein, Oprah Winfrey all do this one thing outside their to-do-lists everyday.
Michael Simmons wanted to find an answer to a difficult question:
"What causes some people to become world-class leaders, performers, and changemakers, while most others plateau?"
He explored the answer to this question by reading thousands of biographies, academic studies, and books across dozens of disciplines.
Over time, he noticed a deeper practice of top performers, one so counterintuitive that it’s often overlooked.
Despite having way more responsibility than anyone else, top performers in the business world often find time to step away from their urgent work, slow down, and invest in activities that have a long-term payoff in greater knowledge, creativity, and energy. As a result, they may achieve less in a day at first, but drastically more over the course of their lives.
He called this "compound time" because, like compound interest, a small investment now yields surprisingly large returns over time.
Here are six compound time activities to build your own capital:
Keep a journal Ever notice that after writing about your thoughts, plans, and experiences, you feel clearer and more focused? Researchers call this “writing to learn.” It helps us bring order and meaning to our experiences and becomes a potent tool for knowledge and discovery. It also augments our ability to think about complex topics that have dozens of interrelated parts, while our brain, by itself, can only manage three in any given moment.
Take Naps to increase learning, memory, awareness, creativity, and productivity Albert Einstein broke up his day by returning home from his Princeton office at 1:30 p.m., having lunch, taking a nap, and then waking with a cup of tea to start the afternoon. Thomas Edison napped for up to three hours per day. Winston Churchill considered his late afternoon nap non-negotiable. Modern science confirms that napping makes us not only more productive but also more creative.
Only 15 minutes of walking per day can work wonders Top performers also build exercise into their daily routine. The most common form is walking. Scientific data has proved what these geniuses intuited: taking a walk refreshes the mind and body, and increases creativity. It can even extend your life. In one 12-year study of adults over 65, walking for 15 minutes a day reduced mortality by 22%.
Reading is one of the most beneficial activities we can invest in Here’s an amazing truth: no matter our circumstances, we all have equal access to the favorite learning medium of Bill Gates, the richest person in the world: books. Top performers in all areas take advantage of this high-powered, low-cost way to learn. Books compress a lifetime’s worth of someone’s most impactful knowledge into a format that demands just a few hours of our time. They provide the ultimate ROI. Here's how you can develop a reading habit.
Conversation partners lead to surprising breakthroughs During long daily walks, psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky developed a new theory of behavioral economics that won Kahneman the Nobel Prize. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis shared their work with each other and set aside Mondays to meet at a pub. Many greats made a habit of conversing in large, ritualized groups. Theodore Roosevelt’s “Tennis Cabinet” included friends and diplomats who exercised together daily and debated the issues facing the country.
Success is a direct result of the number of experiments you perform There’s a reason that Jeff Bezos says, “Our success at Amazon is a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week, per day….” One big winner pays for all of the losing experiments. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.”